Bad posture and back pain plague millions of Americans. Adjusting to just the right ergonomic desk position, wrenching our necks downward to see our cell phones or constantly bending over the wrong way can wreak havoc on our backs. Many people hunch over as they try to type on their laptop or find that new muscles are tensing up as our daily lives and routines have been shaken up.
If you have found yourself in this position, you are not alone. The natural curve of your spine can be compromised, nerves can be pinched along with tense muscles and headaches that you can’t seem to shake. If you need help managing back pain, here are some options to get your spine back in shape.
How Can Bad Posture Affect My Health?
There are many ways that bad posture can affect your body and health besides just feeling painful in your neck, shoulders and lower back. Here are some ways it can affect your health:
- It can misalign your musculoskeletal system
- Bad posture can wear away at your spine and discs
- Decreases your flexibility
- It can affect how well your joints move and glide
- Bad posture can affect your balance and increase your risk of falling
- It can be harder to digest your food
- Your breathing might become more difficult
How Do I Manage Back Pain and Bad Posture?
Managing your back pain and bad posture does not have to flip your world upside down. You can take a few of these options and fit them into your daily routine. These options can easily become habits that you gravitate towards naturally.
1. Get Up And Walk Around
A great way to counteract bad posture is to make sure you are also getting up and walking around. Getting stuck in the same position for hours, especially a position that is not conducive to good posture, is not good. It is, however, easy to do.
The trick here is to try to get your body up and moving if you plan to sit at your desk for hours. You might even want to set an alarm to remind yourself to just get up for a minute, do a quick stretch or yoga pose and then get back to work.
2. Try These Yoga Poses
Yoga poses are not only great for stretching, but they also help prevent injury. Yoga is easy on the body since it is low impact, but it can be a great tool for your spine and posture. Try these yoga poses when your back is giving you trouble:
- Cat/Cow Pose
- Happy Baby Pose
- Child’s Pose
- Balancing Table Pose
- Reverse Pigeon Pose
- Locust Pose
- Gate Pose
- Thread the Needle Pose
- Bent Knee Pose
3. Correct Your Office Chair
If you sit all day and suffer from bad posture, you should take the steps to fix the culprit right now. You want the chair itself to be ergonomic to allow you to make the proper adjustments. You do not want to be hunched over at your desk. Try to keep your knees slightly slanted down below your hips and directly over your feet.
4. Breathe Better
Did you know that bad posture can result in poor breathing? Your diaphragm and lungs can be limited due to poor posture and that is not a good thing. Begin to concentrate on your breathing and if you find it difficult, you likely do not have great posture.
5. Get a Massage
Lastly, you might need to get a massage to work out the knots and bothersome areas of your back. A massage can relax your muscles and allow your body to naturally reposition itself back to closer to normal.
Now, the type of massage you choose should be more of a deep tissue massage. If you really want to fix the problem, you need to go deeper than just a relaxing, vacation type massage.
Final Thoughts on Managing Back Pain and Bad Posture
It is no wonder that so many Americans suffer from back pain and bad posture. We have jobs and activities that are not naturally conducive to maintaining good posture. Once you begin to recognize your pain and how to avoid bad posture in the future, you can be on the road to recovery. It might take a few yoga poses, some deep breathing and maybe even a massage, but it will all make a difference in the end.
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